How Much Does an MRA Scan Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

An MRA, or Magnetic Resonance Angiography, is a noninvasive medical test that provides a detailed image of blood vessels and how these vessels function in different areas of the body.  With this type of scan, both the blood flow and the condition of the blood vessel walls can be seen.

This magnetic resonance imaging test is typically used to detect conditions such as aneurysms, atherosclerosis, dissection, vasculitis, congenital malformations, and in preoperative planning.

How much does an MRA scan cost?

Depending on the geographical location, the area being scanned, where you have the scan and if you have health insurance or not, the costs of an MRA will average anywhere from as little as $300 without contrast to as much as $1,350 with contrast.  These are the prices you will often see at a local third party facility.

If you do have a health insurance policy, most policies will cover it, but before booking an appointment, be sure to check with your policy to learn more about your deductibles and co-pays.  If you are in need of a new health insurance policy or maybe you want to shop for a new one, consider large insurance comparison websites such as eHealthInsurance.com.

According to the ScanDirectory.com, the costs of an MRA is more expensive when compared to other imaging methods, with the average cost being about $600 to $1,000.

Diffen.com says an MRA are usually $1,000 and up, but when compared to an MRI, which costs up to $4,000 with contrast, it can be much cheaper to consider an MRA scan if you’re looking to save money between the two.

At The Imaging Center in Stow, Ohio, an MRA procedure without contrast costs $600, while an MRA with contrast costs $750.  These rates are for patients without insurance.  Half payment is required at the time of the service, with the balance to be paid in monthly installments arranged in advance.  The rate is reduced by $100 for patients who pay for the procedure in full at the time of service.

While most regions of your body will be relatively close in price, there can be some slight differences.  For that reason, we had compiled an average for the most common body part scanned, along with the corresponding price inside the table below:

Type of MRAAverage Price (without insurance)
Abdomen / pelvis$550 to $850
Arm / hand$530 to $800
Shoulder, elbow, or wrist (joint)$550 to $850
Chest$530 to $850
Brain$550 to $850
Eye, face and/or neck$550 to $900
Head angiography$500 to $850
Jaw$500 to $600
Neck angiography$500 to $900
Upper spine (cervical)$500 to $850
Lower spine (lumbar)$500 to $850
Middle spine (thoracic$500 to $850

MRA scan overview

Before the test even begins, you will be asked to remove all metal objects and take off your clothes in the area that needs to be targeted.

During this procedure,  you will like flat on a table, attached to straps, that’s connected to the MRI scanner.  Once strapped in, the table will slide into the space that contains the magnets, focusing on the part of the body that needs to be scanned.  Once inside the scanner, the MRI will start taking images, producing a small fan noise or “whirring” sound.  Depending on the reason you’re being scanned, you may be asked to hold your breath or stand as still as possible.  If contrast is required, then it will e put into an IV and will be given for about two minutes.  The entire test can take anywhere from 30 minutes to more than two hours.

The entire process is painless, however, some feel discomfort from the hard table you have to lay on.  Some people may also feel claustrophobic or anxiety from being inside the MRI for a long period of time.  If contrast was used, then you may feel a coolness sensation as the fluid is being injected.

The scan, when complete, will be uploaded to a computer and interpreted by a radiologist.  Depending on the circumstances, the radiologist may talk to you right after the test, but complete results may take up to a few days to receive them.

What are the extra costs?

If you’re nervous in smaller spaces, then you may need to have medicine to help you relax and/or use an open MRI machine.  These two options can often increase the price; however, an open MRI machine won’t be available everywhere and may be hard to find.  Plus, an open MRI machine is often not recommended since the pictures produced may not be as good as a standard MRI machine.

After the scan, a CT angiogram may be done to double check the results if they were abnormal.  This test is often always recommended if the doctor is considering surgery.  The costs, without insurance, will often be in the $500 to $1,000 range.

Tips to know:

Before the procedure, you will need to tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medicine, if you’re pregnant, have any metal implanted in your body, have an intrauterine device, become nervous in small spaces and/or any health conditions.  Some of these conditions may prevent you from having an MRA test done.  For example, if you’re pregnant, using a medical device containing metal and/or overweight, then the test may not be recommended.

Before the test, you may be asked to avoid drinking and/or eating.  If the scan is being performed to study the blood flow, then you will be advised to avoid using tobacco, caffeinated beverages and alcohol products for at least two hours before the test.

One advantage of an MRA, when compared to other scans, is that no radiation is involved.

Allergic reactions are very rare, but those who have a history of kidney or liver disorders may experience a reaction to the contrast agent.

How can I save money?

If you don’t have health insurance, ask your facility or provider if they offer a cash discount for those who pay in full.

Many imaging tests, including the MRA scan, will be covered by insurance.  Be sure to discuss the associated fees with your doctor or medical facility to find out how much your insurance provider will cover and the possible charges that you will be obligated to pay.  Also, be sure to talk with your insurance provider to know more details about your policy and what’s covered.


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